Commitment to Sustainability
Streamline plays a key role in reducing our community’s overall carbon emissions now and in the future. By design, public transit reduces the number of single occupancy vehicles on our streets, which in turn decreases our community’s overall tail-pipe emissions. Since tail-pipe emissions are the largest contributor to greenhouse gases, Streamline is needed now more than ever. Thus, HRDC and Streamline staff have developed short- and long-term goals that demonstrate Streamline’s commitment to ensuring a sustainable future for the Gallatin Valley.
Streamline’s short-term sustainability goals are all centered around increasing ridership. More riders on Streamline leads to fewer vehicles on our roads and reduced tail-pipe emissions in our community.
- Implement Recommendations from Redesign Streamline 2020
In November 2019, Streamline launched the Redesign Streamline 2020 planning process. The project involved a comprehensive study of Streamline service and operations, culminating in a Transit Development Plan that detailed recommendations and implementation strategies for service changes. Some of these recommendations were implemented in the fall of 2021 including: 1) new linear, bidirectional routes, 2) a focus on serving density, and 3) clearer signage to improve the customer experience. All service changes were aimed at increasing ridership along Streamline.
Some of the other recommendations that were included in the final Transit Development Plan, such as expanding route coverage, lengthening hours of operations, and increasing route frequency, will be implemented as soon as funding allows.
- Maintain Zero-Fare Service Model
Since its inception, Streamline has operated as a zero-fare service. The United States has dozens of zero-fare transit systems — mostly in small, college towns, such as Bozeman. Other zero-fare transit systems exist in Missoula, MT; Olympia, WA; Logan, UT; and Kansas City, MO. The zero-fare service model removes financial barriers to ridership and reduces overall travel time on transit. Other key benefits of zero-fare service are discussed here.
- Educate on How to Use Public Transit
Riding the bus for the first time can be intimidating, so Streamline staff recently created a series of training videos to help first-time riders (and even seasoned riders) feel comfortable using public transit. The video topics cover everything from reading the bus schedule to loading a bike on the bus. These videos will be shared in the upcoming months and years through all of Streamline’s communications platforms. Streamline also conducts in-person trainings upon request.
Streamline’s long-term goals are focused on adapting new sustainable infrastructure and technology as well as coordinating with local governments on transit-friendly developments and land use policies.
- Decrease Direct Vehicle Emissions
As technology improves, Streamline will promote and transition to more efficient vehicles as well as vehicles that use alternative fuels, such as electric, hybrids, biodiesel, propane, etc. Since the cost of transitioning to alternative fuel can be significant (e.g. an electric bus costs twice as much as a diesel bus), Streamline will identify and apply for various funding opportunities to aid with this transition.
- Encourage Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) in the Gallatin Valley
Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) is typically described as mixed-use development that closely aligns employment centers, residential units, social attractions, and essential services into common areas of land. This type of development is compact and includes pedestrian-friendly walkways that center around high frequency transit routes. TODs enable people to live without complete dependence on a personal vehicle and are critical to the success of a public transit system.